One might say one man’s yard waste is material for another man’s artistic vision when it comes to creations by Marc Walter.
Walter is in the process of creating his third public art sculpture in Maffeo Sutton Park this week where he is bending, trimming and binding alder, willow and dogwood branches with jute twine into an arch representing a jet or geyser of water that shoots from the ground, rises four metres into the air and rejoins the earth a few metres away. Leap is his title for the piece.
“It’s also an archway and people will be able to go under and get pictures,” he said.
Walter classifies himself as an environmental artist who creates “land art” from natural materials.
“Very often people think I’m using metal because it becomes so strong, but it’s just the different directions and the weaving that creates the strength,” Walter said. “The idea is to just make the best use of every branch that’s available. Every branch has an elegance. It has a strength. It has … an ability to bend.”
Leap, one of 10 new installations for 2019 in the City of Nanaimo’s temporary public art program, is taking form this week in the former space of Jester, which Marc created in the park last year. His first sculpture was in the shape of a boat in the northeast corner of the park. His works are designed to represent their surroundings.
Walter, who is originally from France and is half German, has lived in Quebec for 25 years and has earned his living from his art for the last 15 years. Requests for his work takes him to far-flung locations.
“I was in Australia, in Sydney, in October. Right after this I’m going to France to create something for another event at a castle. It’s the festival of garlands. I also do a lot of school projects, so last week we did a large mural, using branches, in the shape of a whale,” he said.
Walter said he likes doing school projects because it inspires children to be creative and teaches them one can still be creative as an adult too. He said he also enjoys his interactions with passers-by who stop and chat with him while he works.
“Rain or shine, I’ll talk to people,” he said. “People say, isn’t it bothersome to meet people or to have people interrupt you, but that’s part of my process. I like that.”
To learn more about Walter and his work, visit http://marcwalter.ca/.